This show came out six years before Glee hit the airwaves, but it is, quite unmistakably, a two-hour episode of Glee. Seriously, it’s such a prescient forerunner to the show that it’s almost uncanny. The script problems in this film are the same ones seen on Glee, from its ham-fisted teen melodrama to its thoroughly unlikeable characters to the nasty bi-phobic slant to its gay rights message, and, like Glee, the film’s saving grace is in its musical performances. The script to this movie is an irritating, cliché-bound exercise in tedium that thinks it’s inspirational. It chronicles the asinine behavior of an attention-hungry prettyboy at a theater-themed summer camp who leads everyone on and lets everyone down, and it somehow expects you to sympathize with this character. There is the occasional flash of vivid writing (particularly for the film’s most comparatively interesting character, a drunken, bitter theatrical one-hit wonder who gets most of the good lines), but not nearly enough to make the script entertaining. The whole thing is capped with one of the most unconvincing endings I’ve ever seen on film, with the female lead taking the aforementioned flaky jerk back, apparently for no other reason than that the writers didn’t want their film to have a downbeat ending. The main difference between this movie and Glee is that the cast of singing performers isn’t as talented. The original songs in the second half of the film are superb, especially the glorious “Century Plant”, but they don’t come into play until fairly late in the film, and before that, the performances of show tunes and Rolling Stones songs, while enjoyable, aren’t quite enough to compensate for the poor quality of the script. But in spite of this film actually being slightly inferior to a typical episode of Glee, it is much more well-respected by the musical-theater cultists, simply because it is an independent film with a walk-on cameo by Stephen Sondheim rather than a network TV show.